Maine Guide Intrigued by the Civil War, Koran

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Robert Smith talks to Bill Robinson, a correctional officer and guide in Maine, about the titles in his stack of books this summer. They include books about the Civil War.

ROBERT SMITH, host:

For the next installment of our summer reading series, let me introduce our reader this week, Bill Robinson. We reached him in down east Maine, in the town of Dennysville, still a fourth-generation registered Maine guide and a correction's officer. Welcome.

Mr. BILL ROBINSON (Correctional Officer; Registered Maine Guide; Resident, Dennysville, Maine): Hi. How are you?

SMITH: I'm doing great. How are you doing?

Mr. ROBINSON: I'm doing great today. Glad to be here.

SMITH: I understand the correction's officer part, but what exactly is a registered Maine guide?

Mr. ROBINSON: Well, what I do is I take people hunting, fishing and recreation in down east Maine on the water and on the woods in Washington County. I guide deer hunters, bear hunters, bird hunters. I take people salmon fishing, craw fishing, bass fishing. And I have a few recreationists who are just out to see wild games, fellow on the lakes and ponds, in rivers and streams here in Washington County, which is very plentiful.

SMITH: Sounds like a great time of year for that?

Mr. ROBINSON: It sure is.

SMITH: So when you're not on the river, what are you reading now?

Mr. ROBINSON: I'm reading a book right now on "The Civil War" written by Geoffrey Ward, with Ric Burns and Ken Burns. It's an illustrated history of the Civil War, provides a lot of picture and an in-depth history of the Civil War from the very beginning to the very end.

SMITH: So what's your favorite part so far?

Mr. ROBINSON: I like the part about Little Round Top involves Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. He was a member of the 20th Maine, a colonel, and he actually helped on the second day of the three-day battle in turning the tides, driving the confederates back from Little Round Top and he has a landmark down there. There's a stone - I've been to Gettysburg and seen where he was on Little Round Top and walked the very ground that the 20th Maine was on and it's on a piece of ground. And I like that part of the battle because Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was from Maine and all the men who fought under him were from Maine as well. That's why I like that part of the battle.

SMITH: What do you want to read next?

Mr. ROBINSON: I like the "The Killer Angels." I heard that that was a really god book. It's a Civil War book. And I've talked to other people who have read that book and I'd like to get my hands on a copy of that.

SMITH: If you had all the time in the world, what would you read?

Mr. ROBINSON: All the time in the world. Just - let's see, you know, this is kind of, probably a bit odd but I'd like to get a copy of the Koran and read it once just to build my perspective on that religion and see what that is all about and I'd need someone to translate it for me because I couldn't pick up a word of Arabic but that's what I would read.

SMITH: So what prompted you to think about the Koran as reading material?

Mr. ROBINSON: Well, with this day and age and the way that the world is turning, I think that I would give me an edge to know more about that religion. I would like to see from their point of view what that entails. I'd like to read through it and just see what it is that they study religiously as far as figures and places and that sort of thing.

SMITH: Wonderful. Thank you very much.

Mr. ROBINSON: You're welcome.

SMITH: Our summer reader is Bill Robinson of Dennys River Guides in Dennysville, Maine.

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